Dedicated Kala staff members work in the areas of program development, exhibition management, fund development, studio maintenance, technology, education, community engagement, and art sales.
Cole Chang, Digital Media Technician & Event Rental Manager, is a biracial Chinese-American artist and poet. He received his BA in Studio Art and Creative Writing from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. After moving to Berkeley in 2019, he first became involved with Kala as a studio assistant. He has worked in various studio and gallery settings and assisted several photographers and artists. He was an artist-in-residence at NE Sculpture in Minneapolis, MN, and recently received a poetry fellowship from Brooklyn Poets. In his creative practice, he works through a combination of painting, alternative photography, poetry, and sculpture to explore the consequences of assimilation and question cultural authenticity.
Sonya Castillo, Art Sales and Collections Manager is responsible for the daily operations and management of Kala’s art sales program and oversees the institute’s extensive collection of works on paper. With the gallery team, she contributes to the development of various special events at Kala, including the spring auction exhibition, annual art fairs, outside curatorial projects, and special collection management initiatives. A Bay Area native, Sonya earned her BFA from SFAI in Interdisciplinary art with a focus on photography and printmaking. She comes to Kala with over a decade of arts administration expertise from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and SFMOMA.
Erina Davidson (she/they), Adult Art Education Manager, is responsible for managing Kala’s seasonal adult art classes. She started at Kala as a Youth Arts education program intern in 2018 and since has been a part of the Education Program as a teaching artist for After School Studio, Teen Studio, and Camp Kala, in addition to being a studio assistant at Kala. She also continues to support the on-site Youth Arts programs and community events. They received their BFA in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2013, where she was an undergraduate teaching assistant with a focus on intaglio and screenprinting. They have been a printmaker and artist in residence at Second State Press in Philadelphia, PA and the Dirt Palace in Providence, RI.
Mayumi Hamanaka, Co-Director, is responsible for running Kala with Ellen Lake. This leadership team has been working at Kala together since 2008 (Mayumi since 2006) and co-directing the organization since October 2021. Mayumi provides artistic vision and direction for the organization, currently heads up communication including the development of the annual marketing plan in collaboration with other staff members, web design and maintenance, is the gallery curator, organizing exhibitions, public programs, and related events at Kala gallery and outside venues, juries Kala’s Fellowship and other artist residency initiatives, supervises arts education, art sales, and gallery programming. Originally from Japan, Mayumi is a visual artist, curator and educator. She received her M.F.A from California College of the Arts, San Francisco, and her B.F.A from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the recipient of the Murphy Fellowship Award, Taipei Artist Village Fellowship, and others. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally including Taipei Artist Village in Taiwan, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Asian American Art Center in NYC.
Archana Horsting, Founding Director Emeritus, co-founder, and Executive Director for 47 years, stepped away from the day-to-day at Kala at the end of 2021. In her new capacity, she is a board member and advises on special projects. She received a B.A. with honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz, studied art history at the University of Padova, Italy, and art practice at Academia di Belle Arti di Venezia in Venice, Italy. In 2012 she was recognized with an Alameda County Arts Leadership award. In 2014, she was given a Bay Area Visionaries award from the Southern Graphics International Conference. In 2015, she received Berkeley Community Fund’s Benjamin Ide Wheeler Medal, awarded annually to Berkeley’s “most useful citizen.”
Gisela Insuaste, Education and Public Programs Director, runs Kala’s adult and youth arts education programs, community events, and public programs. She directly manages the youth and community arts education programs such as Artists-in-Schools, Camp Kala Summer Youth Program, Gallery Field Trips, Children and Teen Studio Workshops, and Community/Family Workshops, and supervises the adult education program. Gisela is an Oakland-based artist, educator, and cultural worker. She enjoys exploring the San Francisco Bay Area on a bike or by foot, taking photos, and making drawings, paintings, and sculptures inspired by urban and natural environments. She has many years of experience working with youth and adults in education, community engagement, and social justice with various organizations in the Bay Area, New York, and Chicago. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA in Anthropology and Studio Art from Dartmouth College. She is the recipient of various grants and awards such as Apex Art Outbound Residency; Lower East Side Printshop Keyholder Residency; Smithsonian LMSP Fellowship; MacDowell Fellowships; and Artadia/Driehaus Award.
Ellen Lake, Co-Director, is responsible for running Kala with Mayumi Hamanaka. This leadership team has been working at Kala together since 2008 (Mayumi since 2006) and co-directing the organization since October 2021. Ellen oversees the business office and development efforts at Kala, specializing in grant writing, working with the Board and Founding Director on fundraising initiatives, and creating a productive and thriving organization. She has over 20 years of experience working in the arts and non-profit organizations in the Bay Area, from development, strategic planning, and financial management to grant writing, community partnerships, and public art. She received her MFA from Mills College in 2002 and a BA from Amherst College in 1991. She is a recipient of a 2018 Rauschenberg Residency award for artists/arts administrators, a 2016 California Arts Council Artists Activating Communities grant, a 2015 City of Oakland Cultural Funding Program, a 2014 Alternative Exposure/Southern Exposure grant, and a 2012 Experimental Media Arts Lab residency at Stanford University.
Liz Moser, Financial Consultant is responsible for reconciling Kala’s financial accounting including; accounts receivable and payable, payroll, business filings, and QuickBooks financial reporting. She comes to Kala after working 14 years at an accounting firm in Los Angeles as a forensic accountant, small business accounting consultant, and QuickBooks ProAdvisor. She also has a BFA and MFA in Ceramics from Philadelphia College of Art and Tyler School of Arts, respectively, and a Master of Science in Administration from Cal State Bakersfield.
Yuzo Nakano, Artistic Director Emeritus and co-founder of Kala Art Institute. While it’s been many years since he has been involved in the day-to-day at Kala, he remains an important member of Kala’s creative community. He is a graduate of Tenri University and Tokyo Gendai Art Institute, Tokyo, Japan. He studied printmaking with Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17 in Paris. His work has been exhibited in commercial and public galleries worldwide, including the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco, where his works are a part of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts. In 2014, he was given a Bay Area Visionaries award from the Southern Graphics International Conference.
Leyla Rzayeva, Artist Residency Manager is responsible for Kala’s artist residency programs and works with artists through the entire process of application, acceptance, arrival, residencies, and evaluation. Leyla earned her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and a Professional Printer Certificate from Tamarind Institute, University of New Mexico. She is a member of the Friendship Assembly [Mejlisi-Üns], a Baku-based artist collective; participant of the Saloon Network Cultural Exchange Artist Residency in Dresden, Germany (2022); and founder of the Clubhouse Lithography Workshop (2014-18). As an interdisciplinary artist, Leyla brings personal knowledge of the contemporary culture of West Asia and Central Asia to uncover the stories that have shaped her family and transnational history. She presents the themes of communication, memory creation, and internal ecologies to critique her relationship with colonialism and cultural migration.
Nick Shick, Print Studio Manager, is a proudly queer and transgender artist and printmaker from Winnipeg, Canada. Nick earned his BFA from NSCAD University and has assisted at several print shops including Island Press at Washington University in St. Louis. As a collaborative printer, he has worked collaboratively with many artists including Tim Pitsiulak of Cape Dorset, NU. In his previous role as Printmaking Technician at OCAD University, Nick was the Production Mentor and lead printer for HANDBOOK: Supporting Queer and Trans Students in Art and Design Education.
To learn more about Kala’s talented team of teaching artists for youth arts and education programs, click here.